Learning from your engaged users

I’ve been talking to a number of large and small startups about enagement.

it’s one thing to attract a lot of users and visitors

it’s another to keep them engaged.

this is particularly true for example, when i see a company get some love from Apple and become a featured app. they get a shitload of users but the data and charts are misleading. a lot (sometimes most) of those new users may never come back. 

so the team focuses on making their product easier, or better, or fix things they feel are broken. they track new users per day, they track number of new xyz actions per day. all with the singular objective: how do we get users to engage and become active.

i’ve observed from several of our most successful consumer portfolio companies, an effective approach at increasing engagement: find out what makes an engaged user. describe that person, what makes them tick, what do they all do in common. what is that moment when they go from casual to highly engaged.

for some networks, it’s a particular number of friends or the number of followers. for other networks, it has been once they create a profile and create a few new posts. for others it’s receiving network feedback (likes, replies, etc), then become a user for life. or once a user finds enough interesting topics or trends. each social graph is different, each network is different. 

and for each, the path to an engaged user is different.

but once you figure out what your engaged users have in common, it can help focus your work.